senior woman in eyeglasses and earrings

Body shaming and body honesty. The ultimate thin line.

Table of Contents

Body shaming is a topic that has gained significant attention in recent years. It is important to recognize and embrace the fact that everybody is unique, and there is no one-size-fits-all standard of beauty. However, navigating the thin line between body shaming and body honesty can be challenging.

We must learn to address health issues without being accused off body-shaming as well. Just because we address over and underweight issues doesn’t mean we are body-shaming. Sometimes issues like this make people defensive but it shouldn’t.

Overweight and underweight people face a number of serious of medical issues. Trying to avoid hurting someone’s feelings should not be a reason to avoid addressing serious weight issues.

side view of women in different sizes/body shaming

Body shaming negatively affects self-esteem and well-being.

It’s important to recognize uniqueness and avoid body shaming. It’s always wrong to call someone fat or skinny. Can we agree, it’s wrong to call people any kind of slanderous names? It shows a lack of compassions and certainly intelligence. Name-calling is always wrong, BUT………..

AVOIDING body-shaming is not an excuse to ignore addressing good health habits.

Body shaming means criticizing or judging someone based solely on their appearance, which can have detrimental effects on their self-esteem and mental well-being. It is crucial to avoid making negative comments about someone’s body or encouraging others to do so. Instead, we should focus on promoting body positivity and acceptance.

Body honesty involves open conversations without body shaming

We have to have honest conversations surrounding what is a healthy weight and what isn’t and we should never assume either is healthy or unhealthy. Just because one is heavy doesn’t necessarily mean they are less healthy than a thin person. Or the other way around.

BUT there are parameters. As a general rule, the closer one is to their ideal weight, the healthier they are. Overweight people have a higher risk or a number of healthy problems and underweight persons run risks as well.

For example, if one has surgery, being overweight means a person is in surgery longer and is not as quickly ambulatory. They do not recover as quickly. Underweight people run risks as will although they are different.

I personally know two young teenage girls who are presently dealing with anorexia, one almost died. Body-shaming goes across all body types and has been a leading cause for anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and at times, suicide.

As a teenager, I was painfully thin. I was teased although I don’t recall it being mean spirited. People didn’t seem to be as mean as they are now.

But neither being overweight or being underweight affects what makes a person beautiful.

What is a beautiful person?

Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes and ages.

senior woman in eyeglasses and earrings/body shaming

We’re supposed to believe this statement. Right? But do we, really? Besides, sometimes beauty grows on you. A few weeks ago, I was getting fitted for new glasses frames. At first glance, one wouldn’t have paid attention to the young woman who waited on me. But the more we interacted with each other, the more beautiful she became. She truly was beautiful, just not flashy.

There was only one obvious facial flaw that caught one’s attention first, her teeth. She needed some dental work. If one focused on that, one would never notice the rest of her. Her hair was beautiful, her skin flawless, her eyebrows perfectly arched. And her voice was like a melody.

All in all, she really was truly gorgeous. I made it a point to compliment her on her overall manner. Someday I hope someone tells her how beautiful she is.

Let’s be honest, though.

Let’s be honest, though. Some people are simply more physically attractive than others. Can we agree on that? There is nothing wrong with acknowledging this. But we also all know that beauty is not just physical.

Let’s not trash a beautiful person by saying they are conceited or shallow. I’ve known plenty of shallow unattractive people as well. And just because a person is not attractive doesn’t mean we can attribute noble characteristics to them. It’s funny how we think that way. Beauty or the lack of it means absolutely nothing when assigning qualities to a person.

My friend and I, when driving through an expensive neighborhood, look at each other and laughingly say the people who live there must be unhappy. Because rich people can’t be rich AND happy, can they? Remember, we say that in jest knowing full well, other people might drive through our neighborhood and say the same wrong thing.

It’s human nature to put others down to lift ourselves up. But it’s not acceptable behavior.

Beauty is perceived differently in diffierent cultures

To embrace body diversity, we can start by changing our mindset and challenging societal norms and beauty standards. We need to understand that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. Our worth is not determined by our appearance. It’s important to surround ourselves with positive influences and engage in activities that make us feel good about ourselves.

What truly makes a person beautiful is their inner qualities, such as kindness, compassion, intelligence, and integrity. These qualities shine through and make a person captivating in ways that mere physical attributes cannot. It is the combination of both inner and outer beauty that truly defines a person.

Moreover, it is worth noting that beauty standards differ across cultures and societies. What one culture perceives as attractive might not be the same for another. It is the combination of one’s character, personality, and actions that truly makes them beautiful. Therefore, placing too much emphasis on physical appearance alone can be limiting and unfair.

a woman hugging a man from behind/body  shaming

We’ve all heard of the highschool beauty queen who doesn’t get invited to the dance because everyone assumes she already has a date. Judging someone because they are attractive is every bit as bad as judging someone because they’re not. And they both have hurtful consequences.

Instead of focusing solely on external beauty, let’s shift our focus towards celebrating the unique qualities and strengths that each individual possesses. We can develop a more inclusive and diverse perception of beauty. Let’s embrace the idea that everyone is beautiful in their own way.

Set realistic and healthy goals, focusing on strength, health.

a woman in brown leggings holding a dumbbell/body shaming

It is important to strive for objectives that are attainable and maintainable in order to promote overall well-being. By setting realistic goals, we can avoid unnecessary pressure and enjoy the journey towards success. There are healthy eating and exercise habits we should all employ, whether we are overweight, underweight, or just the right weight.

Good health habits are good health habits. Period.

I know some very thin men and women and some overweight men and women who who are terribly unhealthy. And I know some of these same body types who are very healthy. But generally the healthiest people are not at either extreme.

Concentrate on good health habits.

We all know what are good health habits:

  • Less red meat
  • More fruits and vegetables
  • Limit carbohydrates such as packaged foods, desserts.
  • Exercise every day
  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Reduce stress.

It’s really that simple as far as how to define it but it’s a lot harder to implement. We all know that. I’m a sugar addict and I have to work hard at this. If I can do it, anyone can.

Instead of striving for a specific size or weight, focus on being strong, healthy, and happy. This can be achieved through regular exercise, a balanced diet, and practicing self-care. Remember, everyone’s journey is unique, and what works for one person may not work for another.

Remember, the journey matters just as much as the destination. embark on a path of growth and self-improvement rooted in realistic and healthy aspirations.

Fearfully and wonderfully made

Finally, embracing body diversity requires us to navigate the thin line between body shaming and body honesty. By promoting body positivity and focusing on self-acceptance and self-care, we can create a more inclusive and supportive environment for all.

Let’s celebrate the beauty of diversity. Psalms 139:14, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”We really are. The next time you look into the mirror, see the person God sees. You are beautiful. You really are. I struggle just like you do.

Somedays, I look into the mirror and don’t like what I see, either. I remind myself that most other people, even truly beautiful ones, do the same thing. There are reasons we do this and most of those reasons have to do with our feelings surrounding our worth.

So, let’s be kinder towards each other. God bless and have a great day.